Toyota-Suzuki relationship: It’s complicated.
Suzuki and Toyota have taken their newfound relationship to the next level. The two companies have agreed to start discussing joint projects in technology development, vehicle production and sales in new markets.
When you read through the fine print of the association, there are many things that are yet to be cleared up for the consumer. Since 6 February 2017, when Toyota and Suzuki signed a memorandum, the two companies have been exploring projects for collaboration in areas including environmental technology, safety technology and information technology among others.
And finally both brands have come out with a clear mandate, and how this partnership is going to function.
Unlike our previous assessment of what to expect from this partnership, the statement clearly highlights the role to played by Suzuki and Toyota. First agenda of the partnership states that Toyota will technology support to Suzuki, to develop a compact and ultra-efficient engine.
Toyota will also produce models developed by Suzuki which will be sold in India via both Toyota and Suzuki brand network. In addition to the Indian market, the Suzuki-Toyota partnership will cater to the demands of countries like Africa with these models.
Toyota, along with Suzuki, will do its best to enhance freedom and fun in a future society of mobility and to make “Make in India” vehicles cherished in Africa and in many other countries around the world.Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota
The agreement doesn’t talk about the possibility of working on electric car models for now.
We still don’t know if the engines to be produced by Suzuki will be available Toyota to use in its future line-up of cars, especially with the Japanese automaker expanding its base into other segments recently.
As we’ve mentioned before, this agreement is likely to help Toyota and Suzuki plug the gaps (with car models) in the market that both the companies have. For instance, Toyota does not have a compact SUV or a premium hatchback to offer.
It does sell the Toyota Etios Liva, but will be looking at a more premium offering. There is no compact SUV in Toyota’s line up, which the Vitara Brezza could fill. We’ll get more clarity on this partnership in the coming years, when more details about the models and design are publicly available.